Saturday, September 15, 2007
Penny Banner Icons Of Wrestling review
Since the womens wrestling documentary Lipstick & Dynamite was released in 2004, many fans have expressed their dissatisfaction with the short length of the film and the short shrift given to Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame member Penny Banner. There's no question the filmmakers could have done more with the film but I suggest you take a look at this half hour episode of Icons Of Wrestling. The series is produced and directed by Canadian Dale Barnes and the one thing that is clear is that Dale loves pro wrestling and respects the wrestlers.
Of course anyone who wants to know the complete story of Penny Banner should buy her autobiography Banner Days. http://www.bannerdays.com/ But this film certainly allows Penny to tell her story in her own words. I had the opportunity to spend some time with Penny at the Lipstick & Dynamite world premiere in 2004. This film gives you the opportunity to meet Penny without actually meeting her. And if you've read the book, you'll realize it's the same voice. Penny talks about how her childhood, how she got into wrestling and how she became the first AWA World Womens Champion. Of course she also talks about Elvis.
The film also includes comments by photographer Dr. Mike Lano, wrestling legend Nick Bockwinkle and womens wrestling legends Kay Noble and Marie Laverne. There is some match footage including the video of Penny Banner vs June Byers reproduced below but there's so little Penny Banner footage available that there's no real way for fans to properly judge Penny's career by watching matches. Mildred Burke presents a similar problem. This film helps. But you can be sure that many in the wrestling business acknowledge Penny's status in the industry. You can see that in the brief clip from the Cauliflower Alley Club convention in Las Vegas. Cheerleader Melissa sees Penny at ringside and wants to impress a Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame member. This film is available on DVD and you can get details on how to get it at Penny's website. It may also be on TV in your area. Check your local listings. I saw it on The Fight Network in Canada.